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The first post-secondary program of its kind in the country, over 200 applicants are hoping to put their green thumbs to use this September, in a post-graduate pot-growing program at Niagara College prepared to accept only 24.

The college says they’ve also seen an increase in the number of applicants in the horticulture and greenhouse technician programs.

“People are understanding if they come and take a two year program as a greenhouse technician, that’s a really good pathway into cannabis as a third year.” | READ MORE
Jan. 19, 2018, Guelph, ON – Greenhouse research projects at the University of Guelph are about to get a little boost.

Winners of the Gryphon’s LAAIR (Leading to Accelerated Adoption of Innovative Research) program were announced at the institution’s innovation showcase.

Of the 15 winning proposals, two projects will target challenges faced by greenhouse growers with direct applications to greenhouse operations.

Cynthia Scott-Dupree and her research team will explore the use of radiation as a way to sterilize male pepper weevils, an insect that has been difficult to irradicate using traditional insecticides thanks to its developmental lifecycle inside the pepper.

Manjusri Misra and her team will build on their success with compostable coffee pods, developing products that will help reduce manual labour in the greenhouse production of tomatoes and other crops.

Similar to the TV show Dragon’s Den, U of G researchers must pitch ideas to a panel of industry leaders. Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – U of G Partnership and Growing Forward 2, winners receive financial support of up to $125,000 plus assistance from leading collaborators of Ontario’s agri-food industry.

The university also announced “Accelerator Guelph” at the showcase, a new initiative that complements the LAAIR program, further helping U of G researchers commercialize their discoveries. The program will focus on four phases critical to the process: business planning, executive leadership training, finances and human resources.

For more, visit uoguelph.ca.
Jan. 19, 2018, Jordan, ON – With over 115 growers and industry professionals in attendance, Flowers Canada (Ontario) Inc. (FCO) made history at their 51st Annual General Meeting and Winter Event this year.

“This unprecedented attendance … was largely due to the interest by the Flowers Canada (Ontario) membership and other greenhouse personnel to hear Ms. Carol Vandenhoek, Managing Partner of Miller Thomson, address the significant changes brought about in Ontario employment law with the passage of Bill 148 and its significant impact on employer obligations,” confirmed Andrew Morse, FCO’s Executive Director.

Attendees were also brought up to speed on other key issues facing the industry.

John Gardner of Durward Jones Barkwell & Company discussed the financial implications of the new HR legislation and how the AgriStability program can help recover losses.  FCO's Water Specialist, Jeanine West, shared updates on the new Greenhouse Certification Training Program for exporting greenhouse-grown plants to the United States.

Attendees also caught a glimpse of the latest marketing initiative through FCO’s Marketing Director Dejan Kristan. Aptly named “Petals and Plates”, the program highlights Canadian flower production by holding a series of dinners in floral greenhouses and serving up locally sourced meals by local chefs.

For more information about the FCO and its initiatives, visit flowerscanadagrowers.com
Ahead of Canada's legalization of recreational cannabis, a slew of partnerships are cropping up between greenhouse farms and medical cannabis companies.

Emerald Health Therapeutics is partnering with Village Farms in Delta, B.C.; Aphria has teamed up with southern Ontario's Double Diamond Farms; and Canopy Growth Corp. is taking over a 700,000-square-foot organic greenhouse in Mirabel, Que.

Growers are hopeful that cannabis will give them some reprieve from decades of dwindling margins. l READ MORE
Labour issues, both in availability and rising costs, were cited by all the experts we surveyed for this year’s State Of The Industry report.
Aphria announced a new effort called GrowCo, a joint effort between it and an Ontario greenhouse grower named Double Diamond Farms. The company said the deal would provide it with an extra 120,000 kg of annual cannabis production, meaning it expects to have 220,000 kg of production for sale by January, 2019, pending Health Canada approvals. | READ MORE
The greenhouse pepper industry, which is worth $275 million and is concentrated in Leamington, outside Windsor, Ont., was devastated last year by a tiny invasive pest called the pepper weevil.

Cam Lyons, in charge of hunting pests in NatureFresh Farms' 53 hectares of greenhouses, tried everything in his arsenal to control the weevils.

The stakes were high and the pressure was on. That's when he remembered hearing about dogs that are trained to sniff for bedbugs. If a dog could hunt and find those tiny crawlers, he thought, why not weevils? | READ MORE
The heat generated by more than 30 computers, which verify bitcoin transactions by solving cryptographic puzzles, helps warm nearby plants in a makeshift greenhouse.

To water the trays filled with lettuce, basil and sprouted barley fodder, Bruce Hardy, the owner of this 20,000-square-foot building in the Rural Municipality of St. Francois Xavier, clicks a button.

A pump waters the plants with waste water from tanks located on the first floor in which around 800 Arctic Char swim and breed. The waste water from the tanks is rich in nitrates, a great fertilizer for the plants upstairs. | READ MORE
Dec. 22, 2017, Leamington, Ont. – While the holiday season brings joy and happiness to many, it can be a time of hardship for many families. The holiday season tends to be a time for reflection, when many people take time to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Dec. 20, 2017 – The Quebec Institute for the Development of Ornamental Horticulture (IQDHO) has launched a French-language web site on greenhouse biological control and a mobile application. It is available at www.iqdho.com/luttebio.

For more information visit www.iqdho.com.

Following the creation of the DVD-Support Tool for the start-up of integrated control of insects in ornamental greenhouses in 2012, several Quebec producers had a strong interest in biological control.

A WEALTH OF INFORMATION

With one click, they will now have access to a wealth of information and references, which will be updated annually.

“The content is clear and relevant as well as the references,” says Isabelle Fortin of Rosaire Pion & Fils Inc. Greenhouses of Saint-Hyacinthe.
“It’s a tool where everything is grouped together,” says Isabelle Tremblay of the Laval Horticulture Training Centre.

“I like this web site because it is a great tool for those who are in organic farming,” adds Martin Gauthier of Serres Gauthier inc. from Saint-Lin-Laurentides.

The project received financial assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) through of the Québec Phytosanitary Strategy for Agriculture 2011-2021. Among industry partners are Anatis Bioprotection, Koppert Canada and Plant Products.
Dec. 21, 2107, Guelph, Ont. – When Animesh Dutta ponders the problems of the world, he lands on energy security, food security and climate change. The University of Guelph researcher’s latest project holds promise for addressing all three.
Dec. 18, 2017, Mirabel, Que. – Quebec is welcoming new cannabis production investment.
Dec. 18, 2017, Smiths Falls, Ont. – Canada is leading the world in cannabis production, and one firm that’s been successful right out of the gate is Canopy Growth.
Dec. 15, 2017, Rotterdam – The International Peatland Society (IPS) is celebrating its 50th anniversary from Sept. 11-13 in 2018, and it’s inviting the world to help celebrate.
Dec. 14, 2017, Guelph, Ont. – For two years, the Ontario government consulted with employers and employees as part of the Changing Workplaces Review.
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